“Warnock is the most radical and dangerous left-wing candidate ever to seek this office, and certainly in the state of Georgia, and he does not have your values,” Mr. Trump said at his rally in Dalton, Ga., on Monday.
Mr. Trump does not get to define Georgia’s values, however. Voters made that clear in November, when Mr. Biden won the state — a result the president is baselessly continuing to question. Georgia’s population, and with it, perhaps, its values, is changing. The state’s Latino and Asian-American populations are growing, and the suburbs are drawing younger voters and college-educated moderates as well.
That is perhaps why Mr. Warnock the candidate sounds less like Mr. Warnock the preacher and more like Stacey Abrams, the Georgia Democrat whose strategy of voter turnout specifically emphasizes multiculturalism rather than Blackness.
Ms. Abrams, in a recent interview, said she tries not to focus on one group over another when talking about how Georgia became a Democratic bright spot.
“I want us to be really clear that this requires the investment and support of multiple communities,” Ms. Abrams said. “This is a multiracial, multiethnic, multigenerational coalition. And the extent to which we give primacy to one group at the exclusion of the other, I become nervous.”
Nevertheless, Mr. Warnock’s attempt to go from Black pastor to Black senator is an exercise of a different type of faith: It’s a belief that American politics can change from the inside, that the Democratic Party’s most loyal voters can see themselves represented in Congress. That there is room to push the country forward within its institutions, rather than diagnosing its problems from outside.
The latter is something Black pastors, who by tradition often tell uncomfortable truths, have done for centuries. The Black senator is a singular road, occupied by few people in American history, and none from Georgia at all.